Associations between simulator sickness and visual complexity of a virtual scene

Iwan Kelaiah, Manolya Kavakli, Ken Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the effects of simulator sickness (SS) as a function of the visual complexity of animated virtual actors (AVAs) and the virtual environment (VE) in a virtual scene. Visually complex stimuli may be attractive; however, studies on SS indicate the possibility of significant health risks outweighing the expected benefit in virtual reality (VR) simulations. This study used a series of simulations to teach the basic skills required for village fire fighting to manage fires caused by car accidents. The participants learnt in one of 4 experimental conditions; simple (simple AVAs and simple VE), simple world (lifelike AVAs and simple VE), simple AVAs (simple AVAs and lifelike VE) and lifelike (lifelike AVAs and lifelike VE). We predicted that: (1) SS ratings would increase with the scenes' visual complexity and (2) simpler VEs would compensate for the effects of visually complex AVAs. Surprisingly, the results contradicted our predictions, with no effect of either variable. We discuss possible explanations for these results, and suggest future research directions to design safe VR simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers in psychological and behavioral science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Animated-Virtual Actors
  • Virtual Environment
  • Simulator Sickness
  • Virtual Reality
  • Virtual Scene
  • Visual Complexity
  • Visualisation
  • Vection


Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between simulator sickness and visual complexity of a virtual scene'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this